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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

More Bl....y Meetings...

In October 2013, when I started this blog, I posted up "A303 Meetings B..... Meetings".   Back then, the meetings were to attract the attention of village residents, anyone coming from anywhere in the world who needed to use the A303 past Stonehenge, Government, MP's, National Trust, Highways Agency (old title) and anyone else that would listen to my rantings of Rat Running through our village of Shrewton because......"The A303 is no longer fit for purpose" and needs to be "stashed away"....under ground! 

Well here we are in October 2018 and I'm still attending b....y meetings, and the A303 around Stonehenge is "still not fit for purpose"!!
However, we are making progress and the meetings now have taken a different tack and I would say, are more positive toward the project to fix the "not fit for purpose" road.
We now attend a "by monthly" meeting called the Highways England Forum and this is very interesting if you happen to be as sad about the project as I am.   In preparation for the last Forum held at the Holiday Inn last Thursday the 25th, I had even boned up on the term D C O!!!    What on earth is a D-C-O I hear you ask?.....well perhaps not, but it's an acronym for "Development Consent Order" and you can find out all about it if you go to: 
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a303-stonehenge-amesbury-and-berwick-down/ 
but to save you time, I've copied the important bit here.....

"Progress report

We've submitted our application for development consent for the scheme to the Planning Inspectorate. The application will appear on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.
Non-statutory consultation on the scheme took place between 12 January and 5 March 2017, followed by statutory consultation between 8 February and 23 April 2018, and supplementary consultation between 17 July and 14 August 2018.
We'd like to thank all who have participated. The responses have played a major part in shaping the scheme submitted for development consent.

What’s next

The A303 improvement past Stonehenge is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and will be considered under the Planning Act 2008. Under the Act, applicants apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Transport.
We submitted the DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate on 18 October 2018. The Inspectorate will decide whether to accept the application within 28 days of submission. Following acceptance, the Inspectorate will undertake a detailed examination of the application, in which stakeholders and the public can participate, before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State.   More details can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website."
Of course, the thorn in everyone's side who want something done to alleviate the traffic in our village of Shrewton, while the A303 remains unfit for purpose, is an outfit (charity) called Stonehenge Alliance: www.stonehengealliance.org.uk    They're worried that Stonehenge will loose it's UNESCO World Heritage status if the road is put into a tunnel or at least one that's too short in their eyes......So what if it does, as I said in a previous posting some years back, the city of Dresden in Germany, lost their status in June 2009 because they built a waldschlosschenbrucke.....(large bridge to you and me)..... to alleviate traffic crossing the River Elbe and Dresden's tourism has not suffered as a result.   People from all over the world will continue to visit Stonehenge whether it has status or not because the average tourist probably don't have a clue who or what UNESCO are and just want the Stonehenge experience.

So! as we said, the DCO was submitted on 18th October and when the Planning Inspectorate make their decision in approximately 3 week's time, when hopefully, the project will be accepted for the pre examination stage.   There are a further 5 stages it must go through before the final decision by the Secretary of State.  If you're as sad as me about this project, you can find out everything about the project and watch a video here:  https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/ 

Friday, 10 August 2018

Some Experiment?!

On the 4th July just a few weeks ago, I put up a blog showing a letter from Wiltshire Council that explains why the Byways around Stonehenge didn't open following this year's Summer Solstice.....
Some nice new purpose built gates at enormous expense no doubt, have been installed across Byways 12 and 11 off the A303. 
We spoke to the guys at the most recent Highways Consultation www.highways.gov.uk/A303stonehenge/consultation and asked them if they knew anything about the new gates, because I was certainly confused that on their Consultation booklet page 8 it shows the two Byways with a brown dotted line which is explained in the "key" as:
"Existing Byway open to all traffic".   Their answer was that more than one body were involved in the decision, Wiltshire Council being one of those and Amesbury Town Council another and we think of course that English Heritage Trust would have had a part in it too.   Highways had NO say in the decision to close the Byways and said that there were still remaining decisions to be made about Kent Carriage Gates because it would require a very skinny horse to get through the gap provided for cyclists, horse riders and walkers!!!!   Usual half baked idea from officialdom!
This begs the question.....Were local Council tax payers consulted prior the closure....NO! 
Take a look at the this video, this is the resulting effect.....an accident waiting to happen.....

https://www.facebook.com/StonehengeTrafficActionGroup/posts/2216906388545788?comment_id=2217801728456254

This is what Wiltshire Council say.....
"The experimental orders will help improve safety for people using the byways by removing the vehicles using the route which have increased since the closure of the A344. The orders will also prevent further damage to the byways and the adjoining World Heritage Site and preserve/improve the experience around Stonehenge for visitors now and in the future. While the experimental orders are in force, it will be considered if they should be made permanent".
Apparently, from this posting from Wiltshire Council, we have until 12th January to comment...
http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/comments-welcomed-on-experimental-byways-closures-in-stonehenge-world-heritage-site
Please "Like" our page on Facebook...thank you!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Caught on Camera!



Obviously the driver of this "Downton Delivers" truck ignored the sign at Rollestone Cross Roads advising him to turn left and use the main A360 to pass through our village.....42 tons verses 3.5 tons village weight limit!!!   On our Facebook page, comments are "missing" the chaos bit as mentioned by the person who made the vid.....is that what they want?.....chaos, accidents, Mums with prams being mowed down and one comment even misses a death!!!!!!!   Get a life I say!!!
This is the type of traffic we have to put up with in our High Street on a regular basis and we thank a village resident for switching on her in car DVR Camera to capture this footage......
https://www.facebook.com/StonehengeTrafficActionGroup/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Highways England update on A303 Project

This is the link to the latest update for the A303 project:

Highways England are anxious to engage with local people, experts and Stakeholders (STAG is one of those) and have listened to responses from the last consultation earlier this year, when they received over 5000 replies and have acted upon these.   You can update yourselves reading this link and yet again, another raft Consultation dates:
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a303-stonehenge-amesbury-and-berwick-down/

For the supplementary consultation, we will be holding two public information events and making printed materials available at libraries and other community venues local to the scheme.
Please come along to one of our information events to ask our project team about the supplementary consultation.
DateTimeVenueAddress
Thursday 19 July 20182pm to 8pmThe Manor BarnHigh St, Winterbourne Stoke, Salisbury, SP3 4SZ
Tuesday 31 July 20182pm to 8pmAntrobus House39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH
Copies of the supplementary consultation materials, including a booklet and response forms, will be available for inspection free of charge from Tuesday 17 July 2018 to Tuesday 14 August 2018 at the following locations and times:
  • Amesbury Library, Smithfield Street, Amesbury, Salisbury, SP4 7AL
  • Tidworth Leisure Centre, Nadder Road, Tidworth,SP9 7QW
  • Salisbury Library, Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1BL
  • Wiltshire Council Offices County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN
  • Wilton Library, South Street, Wilton, SP2 0JS
  • Devizes Community Hub and Library, Sheep Street, Devizes, SN10 1DL
  • Marlborough Library, 91 High Street, Marlborough, SN8 1HD
  • Warminster Library, 3 Horseshoe Walk, Warminster, BA12 9BT
  • Westbury Library, Westbury House, Edward Street, BA13 3BD
  • The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN
Thank you to everyone who came along to our events and submitted their responses for the previous consultation.
If you are following the progress of the scheme, you may well have followed earlier versions of this scheme. Some of these will have had different approaches and processes, or been governed by older legislation. We’ve put together a clear guide to the planning process we’re following: this explains exactly what happens, when, and how you get can get involved.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Why the By Ways didn't open following this year's Summer Solstice.....









 

 Those who have followed this blog since it's inception in 2013, may recall a posting with the title: "English Heritage...Hands off our By Ways" dated 8th May 2014 (which incidentally, 283 of you dropped in for a visit).....well we can confirm that according to a letter from Wiltshire Council's Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that EH have now achieved their aim - in part!    whilst driving at the usual snail's pace along the A303 the other day, I did wonder why the barriers had remained in place at By Ways 11 and 12 after the this year's Summer Solstice, when normally they are removed during the week or weeks following.....and so, we have the answer here in this most recent
"Prohibition of Driving" experimental order - for 18 months.....as received from
"a chum"!!!



Huh! 18 months they say?   Well we think this could be OMD....
Ochestral Manouvers In The Dark by English Heritage, and you just wait, they will, after 18 months, announce that it's been a great success and make it permanent when we've taken our eye off the ball!
The Order may of course be "music to the ears" for some, but a Sad Song for those residents/itinerants who have remained on By Way 12 for years in some cases with their ramshackle collection of caravans, tents, little fires and dreadlocks!




















Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Stonehenge Alliance....exposed!!


Thank you to my friend Dr Andy Shuttleworth for this exposé
Thank you to my friend Dr Andy Shuttleworth for this exposé
No automatic alt text available.
No automatic alt text available.
We've been increasingly amused and bemused, in roughly equal measure, by the Stonehenge Alliance's ever more plaintiff bleatings on the subject of the A303 Stonehenge to Berwick Down scheme and especially the tunnel. We wondered who the Stonehenge Alliance actually influenced and who they were influenced by. To do this, we employed a nifty bit of Social Network analysis software that has been used to debunk many of the recent "fake news" stories. Quite fitting really.
When you look at the Stonehenge Alliance's social network, it looks a bit like a web and that's what it is - a web of interactions with other websites. The first map shows the first 600 links to and from their website. If you look top and centre, you will see node 116 for instance - that turns out to be the home page of the Mail on Sunday website. In fact, most of the major links to and from the Stonehenge Alliance website seem to be the Daily Mail. We ran the analysis a second time, but removing the links to the Daily Mail and Sunday Mail. This time all the major linkages were to and from the Archaeology Department at University College London. That might suggest that the Stonehenge Alliance is less of an alliance and more of a self-licking lollipop; generating populist news stories and then feeding off and believing your own propaganda......

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Summer Solstice 2018

I was not available to attend this year's briefing for Summer Solstice so, thank you to my learned friend from Winterbourne Stoke for these details....and now I'll tell the world....have a good one!!
English Heritage have announced the following arrangements for Summer Solstice 2018.   Full details and links can be found at their website here and by clicking on the highlighted links below
Visitors watching the sun rise over Stonehenge at summer Solstice
Please note that last normal day admissions to Stonehenge is on Wednesday 20 June at 13:00 and the site will close at 15:00 in preparation for Summer Solstice Managed Open Access. Stonehenge is closed on Thursday 21 June and will re-open at 09:00 on Friday 22nd June.
English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Summer Solstice. We ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read the Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come.
Stonehenge is a significant World Heritage Site and to many it is sacred – please respect the stones and all those who are attending.
Admission to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.  We hope the weather will be kind and wish you a peaceful and celebratory solstice.
WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE
SOLSTICE CAR PARK OPENS 19.00 hours
ACCESS TO STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD 19.00 hours
SUNSET 21.26 hours
THURSDAY 21 JUNE
SUNRISE  04.52 hours
LAST ADMISSION TO SOLSTICE CAR PARK 06.00 hours (or when full)
STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD CLOSES 08.00 hours
SOLSTICE CAR PARK TO BE VACATED 12.00 hours (Noon)
For further information about Managed Open Access for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, please call English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Information Hotline on 0370 333 1181.
Follow @eh_stonehenge on Twitter for live information during the Summer Solstice.